The day started off at 8am sharp with a visit to Whitelee Windfarm for a behind the scenes tour with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. We met at the visitors centre high on Eaglesham moor overlooking Glasgow to the South.
Considering it’s the Easter break there was a good crowd hungry to find out all about the towering turbines that dominate the skyline (you can even see them clearly as you walk down Buchanan Street). First of all we were bused out to meet engineers on-site in the shadow of turbine 72 (extremely tall when you stand underneath one of them) and heard first hand how the turbines and the windfarm operates – here come the factoids:
- They are stabilised underground by 8m of concrete, which is attached to bedrock
- From base to tip of blade, they stand 145ft tall
- They are in use for approx. 98% of the time
- Whitelee until recently was Europe’s biggest windfarm
- The site has 140km of road which is floated on the extensive peat bog
- The farm generates enough electricity for 300,000 homes
- The turbines automatically rotate and blades angle depending on the direction and speed of the wind
- Whitelee is opening a purpose built public mountain bike track in May
When I left home at 7.30am the morning was quite pleasant but high on the moor it was a different story, it felt pretty arctic and extremely windy, a very good location for the turbines – trust me!
It was very interesting but we were all glad to head back indoors after our tour for a welcomed coffee, bacon roll and some good networking.
…I’m sure there are many more ‘geekie’ facts and lots of fun stuff to see and do at the visitors centre and farm so best get your boots and jacket on and go and explore for yourself. It offers fantastic panoramic views across the central belt, north up Loch Lomond and south and west down the Ayrshire coast – excellent photo opportunities. Below are a few pictures I’ve taken during recent visits.
Thanks to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Siemens and ScottishPower Renewables for a great event and insight into something that is ever increasing in our landscape.
Photographs by Julian Westaby